1. Skipping the SPF
Sure, a sunkissed glow might make you look and feel amazing for a few hours… but in the long run, soaking up the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays isn’t a good idea. Here’s why: sun exposure makes the plump, youthful collagen in our skin degenerate faster. Plus, some dermatologists believe that the majority of darks spots and wrinkles found on our skin are caused by the sun.
There is a solution, though: protect yourself from those UV rays with sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.
2. Not Making Fitness a Lifestyle
Exercise makes us happier, more energetic and better prepared for older age, when muscle mass and bone density begin to naturally dwindle and degenerate.
By starting a regular weight training regimen today, you can help increase your body’s muscle mass even as age takes its toll.
Regular cardiovascular exercise—whether walking the dog, attending spin classes or trying out that new boxing gym—can also help boost your mood and improve your health.
3. Smoking—Even a Little
Smoking tobacco accelerates the aging process, causing premature wrinkles.
According to the Mayo Clinic, nicotine impairs the flow of blood to your skin, cutting off essential nutrients like oxygen and vitamin A. There are also thousands of chemicals in tobacco smoke that attack the collagen and elastin in human skin.
If you smoke, even just occasionally, you’ll want to consider quitting for a variety of reasons, including tobacco’s proven reputation for skin deterioration.
4. Seeing the Glass Half Empty
It’s true: thinking positively can help add years to your life! One study of over 600 people found that those who look on the bright side of life lived an average of 7.5 years longer than those who did not.
The same research indicates that those who truly look forward to aging seem to have a greater chance at a long, happy life. While aging isn’t always easy and fun, there are plenty of ways to happily and responsibly prepare for the inevitable. Try talking to older people you love, getting your affairs in order, and taking that bucket list trip.
5. Not Making Sleep a Priority
Sleep is important, and not just for growing babies and children. Sleep matters for a host of reasons, like boosting immunity and keeping our minds sharp. But it also matters when it comes to aging.
Research indicates that women who slept five hours did not bounce back from UV exposure as well as women who slept seven to nine hours a night. That means that sleep may have a real impact not just on how we feel, but how we look and how we age.
Of course, there are loads of other factors that can affect aging, such as genetics, a poor diet and conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Fortunately, there is more and more research being done about ways to suppress aging, including work by Klotho Therapeutics. In the meantime, a healthy lifestyle, a good night’s sleep and globs of SPF are a good start.